Mike Maloney says he's loving his retirement from the force. But he hasn't stopped worrying about the department, and the safety of the community. He served on the Chico police force for 27 years, and says he warned Chico city leaders for years that they increase funding to the department. He says, "The leadership at the police department has warned city leaders that there would be an impact, and I think what we've been seeing in Chico the last six months is that has finally come to rest." Last week, current Chief Kirk Trostle got rid of the Street Crimes and Gang Enforcement Units in order to have more officers available for patrol. Maloney says it's a decision he had agonized over while he was in charge. He says the special crimes units have "exponential value," and that Chief Trostle wouldn't have done it unless it was an absolute necessity. Maloney says Friday's stand-off on Warner Street most likely required every available officer to respond to the scene. Investigators say a 17 year old boy was hiding in a house and refused to come out. They also believed he had a rifle.
Maloney says, "I can guarantee you right now that every available officer in this city is here, and that means at this moment, the entire rest of the city is being unprotected." Maloney says while overall crime rates have dropped in Chico over the last several years, calls for service have increased. And he says the department hasn't been staffed adequately to meet that demand.
City officials say they're not happy about cuts to the department, and have been forced to cut services from city departments across the board. Once seated in January, they plan to reassess the needs in all departments to determine if they can find another way to fund more officers.